Living in a big city provides many opportunities for you and your friends to enjoy themselves at night. Since it is currently winter in Costa Rica, the night life starts quite early compared to the US. Dinner is usually between 6 and 7 pm, so by 9:30 you usually are getting ready to actually go out. Being a student with mediocre Spanish skills, evenings at a dance class, bar, or club, provides many opportunities for me to practice my Spanish with Ticos. It has also taught me how to order food or drinks correctly in Spanish. Opportunities like this has allowed me to learn that Imperial is the “go to drink” for the locals, and it helped me break down cultural barriers. Other options for night life in San Jose is going downtown to the museums or see a movie. I would always suggest at least one night out to get a real feel of the city. Plus, the city lights wrapped up, down and around the mountains makes night life in San Jose even more enjoyable.
As they would tell you back at home, do not feel pressured to go out if you do not feel comfortable with it. Being a foreigner in a whole different country and culture, you do have to become more vigilant about your surroundings, especially in bars. So here are some advice to heed (especially for the beautiful ladies):
- Never walk alone at night. Always be with another person or SMALL group when traveling to and from different places at night.
- Do not carry high amount of cash on you. Only bring what you need (plus it helps you budget things better).
- When ordering drinks, watch the bartender make the drink. Taking drinks from unfamiliar people is not wise.
- Always carry some form of identification on you.
- KNOW YOUR LIMIT! Being excessively drunk in Costa Rica is looked down upon. Plus it places you in situations you should never be in.
- Have an idea of where you’re going. It is very easy to get lost in a city you are not familiar with.
And remember, if it doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right. Besides that, enjoy the “pura vida” night life experiences!